Sunday, October 11, 2015


The final find of my recent exploration trip to Halifax was this debut disc from Newfoundland transplant Danielle Smith, now living in N.S. This seven-song collection, available on her website, grabbed her nominations at Music NL's awards, for Female Artist and Country Recording of the year, and relocating has brought her attention such as gigs at the Halifax Urban Folk Festival, and the upcoming Nova Scotia Music Week.

Smith falls in the bluegrass/folk/songwriter categories, and is pretty secure in all of them. Her bluegrass songs are upbeat but thoughtful. Her small combo uses banjo and mandolin to add brightness, but these aren't pickin' and grinnin' songs. Smith's packing emotional punch along with the playing. The song Miles comes in a folk form that has a modern troubadour feel in the verses, but the chorus comes with powerful lines more traditional and direct: "My love is miles from me, that is why I grieve."

Abandon Me is country-gospel, this one with deep rural roots, taking the sound back decades, but Foghorn brings us back to the current, with the prettiest melody on the set, and a bright vocal from Smith. She's a bit of a shape-shifter, seemingly an old soul at times, a young heart at others, and about five strong styles to choose from.

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